Soccer loses back-to-back games to MIAA’s best

John Henderson

The Washburn soccer team lost to Southwest Baptist and Central Missouri last week, dropping the Lady Blues’ record below .500 at 4-5-1 overall, and 1-3 in MIAA play.In Saturday’s loss at SBU, the Lady Blues gave up one goal in the first half and another in the second before Danielle Sicard scored in the 71st minute of play. The goal was Sicard’s first of the season, with the assist coming from Danielle Ayala. However, there was not enough time for the Lady Blues to stage a comeback and left the game at the wrong end of a 2-1 final score.In last Thursday’s loss at UCM, it was the offense that struggled through a defensive battle. Both teams were scoreless until the first minute of the second half, when the Jennies knocked in the game’s only score.The Lady Blues were outshot 9-6, and had only two shots on goal compared to UCM’s five. Bolstering a 1-3 MIAA record, the Lady Blues face concerns about their chances of making it to the MIAA and NCAA tournament. A losing record in the conference will make it difficult for WU to reach their goal of improving on last year’s first round MIAA tournament appearance.Despite the unexpected losing record, there is still reason for the team to be optimistic. All five losses for the Lady Blues have been by a combined five goals, and coach Tim Collins thinks that with some adjustments, WU can come out on top in the close contests.”We’ve been close in all our games,” said Collins. “In a few games, the offense has been really good for us, and in some games, it’s been our defense. We just need to work to put it all together.”Aside from improvement on their own squad, WU will catch a break in the scheduling after playing the conference’s two top teams back-to-back on the road. With games against SBU (6-0 overall, 5-0 MIAA) and UCM (7-1, 5-0) out of the way, the Lady Blues play a non-conference game against Rockhurst, and a home game Saturday against Missouri Southern, a team that is just 1-5 in the conference.